THURS­DAY 18.02.16

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TICKET SEVEN DAYS - Peter Craw­ley TCL PC

for the men who have gath­ered in a Lon­don bar to wake the death of one of their own, nurs­ing hopes of re­turn­ing to Ire­land as suc­cesses, when the truth is more com­pli­cated, de­feated and bit­ter. Mur­phy’s play has been restaged nu­mer­ous times, filmed in Ir­ish, and once per­formed by an African cast. Livin’ Dred’s tour­ing pro­duc­tion takes a more tra­di­tional route with Phe­lim Drew, Mal­colm Adams, Arthur Rior­dan, Sea­mus O’Rourke and Char­lie Bon­ner per­form­ing for di­rec­tor Padraic McIn­tyre. Jobs for the boys, what? SOUL Shug­gie Otis We love peo­ple that have ex­tri­cated them­selves from the less ap­peal­ing aspects of the busi­ness that drives their ca­reer, de­cid­ing in­stead to do what they do well and in rel­a­tive seclu­sion. Otis’s 1974 al­bum, In­spi­ra­tion In­for­ma­tion (and its sub­se­quent re-is­sue decades later) has in­creased the man’s pro­file, but he still takes his time get­ting here and there, which makes this rare Ir­ish gig all the more spe­cial. ART There Are Lit­tle King­doms above. The ground be­neath you is cov­ered by a car­pet which might have been bor­rowed from a playschool. But your seat, an invit­ing rock­ing chair cush­ioned with the im­age of a skull, looks like the last thing you’ll ever see. Pan Pan’s bold in­stal­la­tion per­for­mance of Sa­muel Beck­ett’s 1957 ra­dio play, first staged in 2011 and lauded at sev­eral in­ter­na­tional ap­point­ments since, now comes to the stage of the Abbey Theatre to cre­ate a lis­ten­ing cham­ber, sen­sa­tion­ally de­signed by Aedín Cos­grove. Beck­ett’s play min­gles sar­donic wit with lac­er­at­ing notes of de­spair as it fol­lows the aged Maddy Rooney (voiced by Áine Ní Mhuirí) who walks to Boghill sta­tion (in the thinly dis­guised Foxrock of Beck­ett’s child­hood) to col­lect her blind, can­tan­ker­ous hus­band (An­drew Ben­nett). Along the way, and through Beck­ett’s de­lib­er­ately mu­si­cal struc­ture, she en­coun­ters po­lite and as­sist­ing vil­lagers whose good na­ture de­flates as quickly as their bike tyres. Di­rec­tor Gavin Quinn cap­tures the play’s mor­dancy and stark ag­nos­ti­cism with ab­so­lute pre­ci­sion, and sound de­signer Jimmy Eadie en­velops us with its stag­ger­ing clar­ity. Beck­ett, vig­or­ously alive to the po­ten­tial of each medium, was acutely aware of how to po­si­tion his au­di­ence, and here Quinn and Aedín Cos­grove use the space to give us a sense of ra­dio’s disem­bod­i­ment while putting us – gid­dy­ingly and dis­con­cert­ingly – di­rectly in Maddy’s head.

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